Let's get to it . . . Frank from Fernandina Beach:
Who cares about the locks on BG? How did his arm look? And more importantly, how did the receivers look and did Jerry Sullivan have any words for the media about what he's learned working with them so far? Come on O Man – details, details.
John: Tuesday wasn't really a day for details, at least not the kind you're seeking. Blaine Gabbert looked fine, but he is a big, strong, gifted guy and he always is going to look good throwing in practice. Chad Henne also looked good, as did Dan LeFevour. Sullivan did not attend the practice because he was attending former Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano's funeral. We'll be filing each day of the mini-camp, but I don't know that we'll be able to provide great progress reports on a day-by-day basis. It's orientation, and that means learning at this point.
Alex from Austin, TX:
Does swapping first-round picks with the Eagles for Asante Samuel sound great to anyone else?
John: Maybe somewhere.
Tucker from Jacksonville:
Just saying, I don't really think we should trade out of our spot until we're on the clock and sure of our decision. It would be quite an opportunity wasted if one of the projected "top six" made it out of the top six and we weren't there to nab them because we left too early.
John: I can't imagine the Jaguars would trade out of No. 7 before they were on the clock. That rarely happens except when it involves a selection where the team with the selection knows exactly what will be available.
Jeremy from Navarre, FL:
Last year you thought Shorts might be the best WR on the roster by the time the season ended. Obviously, that didn't happen and there can be many reasons why. Do you still believe he can be one of the two best WRs on the roster this year? What a pleasant surprise it would be if he was.
John: It would be. Shorts has the ability to be a very good NFL wide receiver. He wasn't that last season. I would say we need to see development in a big way this season. There's only so much time for a young player to develop, but I'd also say the structure in place this season is far more conducive to developing than it was last season.
Chris from Section 102 :
I have no doubt MJD will show up in shape and ready to play, but shouldn't he be here to set an example as a veteran leader on this team?
John: As you said, I have no doubt he will be prepared to play, and as a running back, it shouldn't be difficult for Jones-Drew to learn the offense. I fully expect him to be a reliable, go-to player this season – as he has been throughout his career – but I strive for honesty as much as possible in this forum. As a veteran leader and face of the franchise, I can't say that it wouldn't have been preferable for him to be at Head Coach Mike Mularkey's first mini-camp.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
I for one like the Evans signing – primarily because the risk is low. Do you think having some players on the offense who are already familiar with the system is helpful to the coaches?
John: I'm fine with the Evans signing. The Jaguars aren't signing him with the idea it guarantees them a big-play, 1,000-yard threat from their new player. They're signing him with the idea that they have a player on a one-year deal who has been a big-play, deep threat in the NFL. If he is motivated – which he should be – and if he can stay injury-free, he can be an asset to the receiving corps. If not, there's comparatively little risk with the contract. And yes, having players familiar with the system can't hurt.
Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
In your recent article about the media luncheon, when Gene talks of the Knighton injury, he says, "The hope is Terrance has a complete recovery, but there's a level of uncertainty at this point." What exactly does that mean? Will he be 100 percent by the start of the season?
John: It means there is uncertainty. That means they don't know if he will be 100 percent by the start of the season. They hope so, but they don't know.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
I like the signing of Lee Evans, but I don't like that the Jaguars had to sign another veteran receiver to lead by example. Didn't we just go through this with Torry Holt? I understand the rationale, but hate that we're back in this position so soon?
John: Don't read too much into the leading-by-example stuff. It's great to have veteran leadership and it's important, but Lee Evans is here for the same reason any player is here – to play, and contribute. If he can do that, he'll be here; if he can't, he won't be. Any veteran leadership is a bonus.
Al from Fruit Cove, FL:
The talk about there being only six elite players in this draft makes me wonder again why the Jags are drafting seventh instead of sixth, or why there wasn't at least a coin flip to determine whether the sixth pick would belong to us or (before they traded it) the Redskins.
John: The draft order is determined first by record, with the first tiebreaker being strength of schedule. In the case of the draft, the team with the lower strength of schedule receives the earlier selection in the first round. After that, the teams rotate in the remaining rounds.
Brett from Ocoee, FL:
Defensive linemen are by far the most important part of a defense, especially in a passing league. A great cover corner only covers one receiver. A defensive end or tackle in the face of a quarterback covers all of the receivers. That's my take.
John: And wise NFL people agree.
Justin from Section 122:
I think a lot of those responding to your positional value chart for the draft are trying to debunk you by applying it to actual positional value. Just because a position isn't as valuable on draft day (due to the relative difficulty of filling the different positions), doesn't mean that a position halfway down the list isn't important to your team.
John: Absolutely. You have to have a kicker, obviously, and you have to have a good one. You just don't have to obtain one by selecting him in the first round. Same with guard, running back, linebacker or any number positions.
Jordan from Orlando, FL:
When you predict that a player won't be in the Jaguars' plans, is that because Gene does give you some basic information of players he likes and doesn't or is that just because you feel you have a good feel for the Jaguars?
John: You talk to as many people as you can, gather as much information as you can and try to write as accurately and honestly as you can.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I think the team that can give the Jaguars a swap of first rounds and the highest second-rounder is ideal. That way the Jaguars will have four picks at the top 70 players and I like those odds of landing a couple home runs. The rabbit's foot is coming out for this one.
John: I think the Jaguars would like those odds, too. I think that's why the idea of trading down, this year particularly, is so appealing.
John from Section 222:
With all the emphasis on adjusting the rules to make the game safer, why not take a page from Pop Warner football and set maximum weight limits? It all boils down to impact force (mass * acceleration). If you can't make people slower, you can limit their weight.
John: People get on me for posting silly questions. Sometimes, I can't help myself.
Joe from Jacksonville and Section 408:
Let's say the Jags are on the clock. The highest guy on the Smith's board he feels doesn't warrant the seventh overall pick. He has been working the phones to try and trade back. The trade offer he receives is just slightly under the value of the seventh pick. Do you take the guy on your board who is rated the highest but not worth the pick or do you take the trade which is slightly under the value of the pick?
John: It depends on your draft board. That's a vague answer, but say the Jaguars are trading back to No. 13 of 14: if your draft board tells you there's going to be a player there that's not a significant drop-off from the player you would select at No. 7, then it might make sense to take slightly less than your normal trade value. Generally speaking, you don't stray too far from your set values. Falling into a pattern of that over time will cause the talent level of your roster to gradually diminish.
Eric from Wilmington, NC:
article, "Still Open To A Trade," shows quite a food spread. Rick used to say he loved the hot dogs, but it looks like he was holding back on us!
John: The picture associated with your The spread you saw was not a normal "press-box" spread. It was the spread at the annual pre-draft luncheon, which is always quite good. My predecessor may have held back, but I assure you on Monday, I did not.
No holding back
Let's get to it . . . Frank from Fernandina Beach: